PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT: Meaning, Rights, Insurance, Difference & Benefits

Part-Time Employment
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You might decide as a small business owner not to fill every position with full-timers. Instead, you can opt to work with part-time staff. What does a part-time worker do? Learn about what part-time employment entails generally, the benefits of doing so, the laws and rights that apply, and the health insurance of the workers.

Preamble: Part-Time Employment 

The workforce includes people who work part-time. To boost sales and grow their firm, many organizations rely on their part-time staff. In contrast, other people rely on part-time work to progress professionally and maintain their financial security. In this article, we’ll look at what it means to be a part-time employee, the reasons why people and companies select this type of work, and the advantages that come with it.

Examples of Part-Time Jobs

It’s important to first evaluate a number of things before deciding what kind of part-time employment is best for you. Examine your abilities and knowledge, as well as the number of hours and days you are willing to devote each week. Make sure your needs match the company’s culture when researching firms and the roles they offer. Here are four popular part-time positions:

  • Contractor
  • Instructors’ assistant
  • Server
  • An employee of customer service

Why do Businesses Employ Part-Timers?

Certain firms may benefit from part-time employees. The following are some of the factors that prompt businesses to invest in hiring part-time workers:

  • Using part-time workers can help to bring down labor costs. For instance, tiny businesses might give part-timers preference because they don’t demand as much financial investment as full-timers do.
  • When there is a high volume of customers or a high demand, such as around the holidays or the summer, retail businesses will engage part-time workers to help reduce the workload of their permanent or full-time staff.
  • Before making the commitment to hire someone for a full-time role, several organizations hire part-time workers to evaluate the talents, flexibility, and value of potential candidates.

Part-Time Employment Rights 

You have rights to equal treatment with your full-time coworkers if your employment is based on part-time. Part-time workers’ rights are protected by employment law. In other words, you must be treated at least as well as comparable full-time employees in order to avoid receiving a general detriment.

Part-time employees and workers are prohibited from being treated less favorably than a full-time “comparator” by law (The Part-time Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000). Thus, they shouldn’t fare worse than a full-time comparator for:

  • Pay and time off, such as for holidays, sick days, maternity, paternity, adoption, and shared parental leave
  • Pension options and advantages
  • Education and career advancement
  • Promotions, job changes, and career breaks
  • Selection of layoffs and pay

Benefits like pay and leave are distributed proportionately to part-time workers. Pro rata refers to in accordance with hours performed. Below are some of the rights to part-time employment to workers:

#1. Part-Time Workers and Indirect Sex Discrimination

An employee or worker may occasionally be impacted by multiple legal areas. Workers and part-time employees are both entitled to equal compensation. It may be “indirect sex discrimination” if a part-time employee makes less money than a person of the opposing sex. Unless the employer can provide a justification, indirect discrimination occurs when a working practice, policy, or rule applies to everyone but disadvantages one person or group according to their sex.

#2. Overtime Pay

Some employers decide to pay workers for putting in extra hours than specified in the employment contract. It is typically referred to as overtime pay. According to the legislation, part-time workers and employees are not eligible for overtime pay until they have put in more hours than a full-time employee would normally put in. You should review the contract because your company may have a different policy about overtime.

#2. Selection for Redundancy

Talking about part-time employment rights, selection for redundancy is part of it. Part-time employees should receive the same treatment as their full-time colleagues in a redundancy situation. It will only be acceptable to treat part-time and full-time employees differently if there are valid reasons for doing so.

#3. Sick Pay

Part-time employees should not be treated less favorably than comparable full-time employees in terms of calculating the rate of pay, the length of service necessary to qualify for any payment of contractual sick pay, and the period of time the payment is received in order to comply with the law regarding contractual sick pay.

#4. Yearly Leave

When similar full-time employees have a contractually expanded right to yearly leave, part-time employees should also have that right on a pro-rata basis. This means that a part-time employee will be entitled to the equivalent of 50% of their annual leave allotment if they work 50% as many hours as their full-time coworker doing the same job.

#5. Paid Parental Leave, Maternity Leave, and Paternity Leave

Similar to contractual sick pay, maternity, paternity, and adoption pay rates, the number of years of service required to be eligible for such payments, and the duration of such payments should not be determined differently for part-time employees than for similar full-time employees. Any improved contractual right to maternity, paternity, and adoption leave should grant part-time employees the same level of access to leave as would a comparable full-time employee.

#6. Training and Career Development

Workers who only work part-time should not be denied training opportunities or chances to advance their careers. This calls for scheduling training whenever possible to accommodate the majority of staff members, including part-timers.

#7. Opportunities for Career Breaks

Unless their exclusion is demonstrably justified on grounds other than their part-time status, part-time workers should be eligible for career break plans in the same way as equivalent full-time workers.

#8. Promotional and Transfer Decisions

Employees who work part-time cannot be denied a promotion or transfer based only on the fact that they do so, unless the exclusion can be objectively justified.

#9. Occupational Pension Benefits

All occupational pension plans should be accessible equally to full-time and part-time employees. This means that, as long as they are qualified, part-time employees have the same rights to enroll in any workplace pension plan or to be automatically enrolled.

Part-Time Employment Benefits 

The benefits that part-time employees receive by working fewer hours are frequently the same as those provided to full-time employees in employment. Common benefits of part-time employment like health, dental, and retirement money are often reserved by businesses for full-time employees. You can still decide to provide any or all of these to part-time workers, though. You may decide to provide some of the following benefits to part-time workers in addition to flexible scheduling in their employment:

#1. Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

One or more of these medical benefits may be provided to part-time employment workers. Prescription medicines, annual physicals, doctor and hospital visits, and other services are frequently covered by health insurance. Employees who have dental insurance can get checkups, routine procedures like cleanings and extractions, as well as repairs like crowns and bridges. Exams, glasses, and contacts are often covered by vision insurance, but it may also provide coverage for laser surgery to treat eye damage.

#2. Tuition Assistance/Reimbursement

Many businesses care about their employees’ intellectual development and may provide financial aid for college expenses. Employers who offer tuition help cover a portion of employees’ educational expenses while they are still in school. Several employers also offer tuition reimbursement for fees that employees have previously paid, either by paying their employer directly or their student loan servicer.

#3. Company Stock

Employees who receive stock options become part owners of your company. If you do this, your personnel can be more motivated to work hard because their salaries directly depend on the success of the company.

#4. Paid Time Off

Paid time off can take many different shapes, such as a predetermined number of days that employees can use for personal reasons in addition to fixed vacation times, or a predetermined number of days that they can spend any way they like. Employees who enjoy this perk may be more inclined to maintain a positive work-life balance, which can improve work ethic and job satisfaction.

#5. Life Insurance

When an employee passes away, life insurance provides a financial benefit to the person’s family. Employees will probably like knowing that, in the terrible case of their passing, their loved ones will receive a benefit.

#6. Disability Insurance

In the event that an employee is hurt, ill, or otherwise unable to work, disability pays all or a portion of their lost salary. In contrast to workman’s compensation, this insurance will pay benefits whether the employee gets wounded at work or not. A combination of both short- and long-term disabilities may be covered by these policies.

#7. Retirement Plans

Upon an employee’s retirement from the workforce, funding can be obtained from retirement plans, most often 401(k)s. The IRS establishes the maximum sums that employees may donate. Workers under the age of 50 are allowed to contribute $19,500 per year, while those over 50 are allowed to pay $26,500 annually. If you decide to make a retirement plan contribution, you might think about matching all or a portion of the employee’s contribution. Employee loyalty to your company may increase if they feel that you care about their life after work.

Part-Time Employment Health Insurance 

The typical workweek for part-timers is less than 30 hours, or less than 130 hours a month for more than 120 days straight. It is entirely up to you whether or not to provide medical insurance to part-time employees, however, this practice has become increasingly popular among retailers and other businesses in a variety of industries. By offering employee benefits to employees and their dependant family members, you may become a sought-after employer.

While creating your employment strategy, you don’t have to be a large corporation to provide benefits like employer-sponsored health plans, dental insurance, and vision care. Just keep in mind that you must abide by the ACA’s standards if you decide to provide health insurance to part-time employees.

What Regulations in Employment Govern Providing Health Insurance to Part-Time Workers?

These are four actions you can take to make sure you may provide health insurance to part-time workers under employment while continuing to adhere to ACA rules about a benefits package.

#1. Consult your Insurance Provider.

Make certain that your insurance provider enables you to provide medical coverage to part-timers. Different policies apply to insurance firms in this regard. In order to be able to provide coverage to your staff members who work part-time hours, you must let your insurance broker know that you are still looking for a health insurance plan for your employees in employment.

#2. Be Reliable in How and to Whom You Provide Coverage.

The ACA mandates that if a full-time employee receives health insurance, all other full-time employees who are in a comparable situation must also receive health insurance. Similarly in employment, if you provide health insurance to part-time workers, you are required to provide it to all part-time workers in a comparable situation. The particular conditions that qualify a part-time employee for health insurance should be spelled out in your company’s policy documentation. This leads to the next action.

#3. Create Your Own Standards for Eligibility for Part-time Work.

If you choose to provide health benefits to part-time staff, you are free to set your own criteria for who is eligible. Include this information in your employee handbook; it’s an excellent idea. You may, for instance, establish a rule stating that workers are eligible for health coverage if they:

  • Work a minimum of 10 hours per week,
  • Work a minimum of 40 hours every month,
  • Everyone who works for you, i.e., anyone who is under your employment, is eligible for health insurance.

#4. Verify That you Fulfill the Minimum Participation Requirements.

The majority of health insurance providers and states demand that a certain proportion of workers who are eligible for health insurance actually enroll in and make use of it. Providing health insurance to contract workers may change the required minimum participation rate.

Full Time vs Part Time Employment Law

The amount of hours worked is what separates part-time workers from full-time workers. While employers have limited leeway, particular labor rules govern how companies classify employees. The difficult balancing act between what you may require of employees and what they are ready to offer you is part of understanding how part-time versus full-time status affects employees and your business. Your salary approach, workplace culture, and incentives and recognition strategies are just a few of the many variables that affect this delicate balancing act.

Federal Regulations Affecting Part-Time vs. Full-Time Employment Law

Rules affecting part-time vs full-time in employment law:

#1. The Affordable Care Act

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deems someone to be full-time under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if they work an average of at least 130 hours per month or 30 hours per week. The IRS and ACA don’t have rules governing when employees clock in, so the 30-hour cut-off still gives employers some leeway in deciding whether to hire part-timers or full-timers.

The ACA also mandates that applicable large employers (ALEs) provide accessible, minimally necessary healthcare coverage (or pay a fine) and submit extra IRS reports. If a company had at least 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) in the preceding year, it was deemed to be an ALE.

#2. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Several facets of employment are governed by the FLSA, including child labor, recordkeeping, minimum pay, and—most crucially for the purposes of our discussion over time. To be clear, even though they undoubtedly work full-time as salaried employees, exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay if they receive a weekly salary of more than $468 and perform exempt responsibilities.

How does that affect your full-time staff members? If they are hourly employees, you will probably need to pay them overtime when they put in more than 40 hours per week. You can ask salaried (exempt) workers to put in more than 40 hours a week without having to pay them overtime.

Difference between Part-Time vs Full-Time Employment Law

Part-Time vs Full-Time Law: Differences with a Full-time Employment

In the United States, a full-time employee is typically thought of as someone who puts in about 40 hours per week of labor. With the exception of the Affordable Care Act, however, such classification is rarely governed by the federal government (ACA). In order to determine who is eligible for benefits like as retirement plans, paid time off (PTO), paid sick leave, and employee wellness programs, employers are typically free to establish their own definitions of full-time versus part-time. Full-time workers are typically those who work at least 32 hours a week, though some businesses may require more or fewer hours. Some employers may not have any expectations about the number of hours worked by salaried employees.

With the exception of the ACA, federal law does not regulate an employer’s obligation to full-time workers, although it is customary for firms to provide benefits like paid time off and retirement contributions to full-time workers rather than part-timers.

Part-Time vs Full-Time Law: Differences with a Part-time Employment

A person who works for your company on an hourly basis for fewer than a specified number of hours is typically considered a part-time employee. Depending on what makes sense for your company, you, the employer, may decide to set that limit at 32 hours, 40 hours, or another number. Federal regulations distinguish between a part-time employee and an independent contractor, but they do not distinguish between a full-time employee and a part-time employee.

In either situation, you might hire someone and pay them by the hour to work for your company sometimes or for fewer than 40 hours per week. Yet, as a part-time worker, you must pay some payroll taxes to the IRS as well as unemployment insurance tax to your state. For independent contractors, the taxes are not your responsibility.

Part-Time vs Full-Time Law: Part-Time or Full-Time? Either Way, Do the Right Thing

When examining the distinction between part-time and full-time employees, there are numerous norms and regulations to take into account, as with many other aspects of human resources. When examining the distinction between part-time and full-time employees, there are numerous norms and regulations to take into account, as with many other aspects of human resources. If you want your business to be successful, whether your employees are part-time or full-time, you need to make them feel appreciated, invested, and successful.

What Is Intermittent vs Part-Time? 

Working fewer (hours or days) than your typical weekly schedule results in a loss of pay when you work part-time or on a reduced schedule. Intermittent: Periodic deviations from your regular weekly routine (days, weeks, or months) that cost you money.

Why Is It Better to Work Part-Time? 

Because you may not be assigned the same level of responsibility and are able to achieve a better work/life balance, part-time jobs can help you feel less stressed.

How Many Hours Is Part-Time? 

Part-time employment is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as employment that averages fewer than 35 hours per week.

What Are the Disadvantages of Part-Time Work?

The drawbacks of part-time employment

  • May occasionally result in understaffing.
  • May make it tough to coordinate initiatives and schedule meetings.
  • Measurement challenges when evaluating the productivity of part-timers.
  • May have a detrimental impact on the employee’s pay and perks.
  • Could harm the employee’s ability to develop in their career.


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